How To Power Clean Like An Olympian

Get Your Clean On

Chances are if you are a serious athlete or know any serious athletes you have seen the Power Clean in action. Since it is an intense form of working out, serious athletes and body builders alike often are the only ones to use the Power Clean. There are very few other strength exercises that involve more articulations than the Power Clean. Through the Power Clean exercise one is able to gain strengthen by movement at the:

  • Ankle
  • Knee
  • Hip
  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Wrist Joints

This means that when using the Power Clean one is working out a number of key muscles in the body such as calves, quads, hamstrings, gluts, spinal erectors, traps, deltoids, and forearms. In addition the core muscles come into play to stabilize the spine throughout the movement.

Power Cleans are known to build not just strength, but full-body power, which can help a person to move weight quickly which is an essential skill that athletes must posses. Learning the Power Clean can take more time to learn than the average press or pull-down. That said, anyone should be able to do a Power Clean if they’re smart and safe about it.


Prior to even starting to do a Power Clean, it’s important for an individual to make sure that he/she has prepared for this rigorous routine. The Power Clean can be broken up into distinct phases. Before even starting to lift, one should stand over the barbell with their feet positioned under the bar pointing forward and hip width’s apart or slightly wider. Next one must squat down and grip the bar with an over-hand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width. Shoulders should be positioned over the bar with the back arched tightly. Arms should be straight with elbows pointed along the bar.

Once these steps are followed, one is ready to start the first pull-up. The first pull begins from the moment that one lifts the bar from the floor and ends when it is just above the knees. Many people assume that the Power Clean is a fast, explosive motion right from the start, but this is not the case. With the Power Clean, you pull the bar from the floor at a deliberate, but not overly rushed, tempo.


Once the bar is pulled up off the floor, it’s time to get serious. This is the part of the lift when things speed up. Once the bar passes your mid-thigh, it’s an all-out, explosive pull best described as a jump and shrug motion. When this is done correctly, the bar goes completely weightless for a fraction of a second. As you lift the bar past mid-thigh, one needs to jump upward extending your body.

Next you should shrug shoulders and pull the barbell upward with your arms allowing your elbows to flex out to the sides, all while keeping the bar close to your body. You should then aggressively pull the body under the bar while rotating your elbows around the bar. The next step in the process is to catch the bar on your shoulders before your knees and bend lower than 90 degrees. Once this is complete, you must stand up immediately so your thighs ride no lower than parallel to the floor.

The Return

In order to complete the exercise, one needs to bend their knees slightly and lower the barbell to mid-thigh position. Lowering the bar slowly is key as this will help avoid any possible injury. The bar should be lowered with a taut lower back and truck close to vertical. The advanced athlete may drop the bar from the completed position since this technique may be practiced to reduce stress or fatigue involved in lowering the bar.



Hi, I'm Zayn. I am a personal trainer and blogger living in Miami, Florida. Welcome to my blog! Zaynez follows my life and my interests in sports, fitness and healthy living.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *